MORAY FOOTBALL FANS and legendary stars from both sides of the Old Firm turned out to pay tribute to former Rangers and Holland footballer Fernando Ricksen in Elgin on Sunday.
Ricksen, 39, suffers from a particularly aggressive form of motor neurone disease and admitted that doctors had told him his time might be up months ago.
He fights on, however, in the knowledge that “amazing” football fans from throughout Scotland are heart and soul behind him, with the game at Elgin City’s Borough Briggs stadium was one of several tributes arranged around the country by fans.
Ahead of Sunday’s tribute Fernando said: “I am really humbled so many former Celtic players are coming to play at Elgin. On the park it was always about winning, but this is another battle I now have and the support from both sides has been amazing.
“It humbles me to think that so many people have put so much work into making this a reality and I’d love to thank them all personally.”
All profits from Sunday’s game and the tribute dinner on Saturday evening, which featured a host of former internationals including Marco Negri, Colin Hendry, Michael Mols and Andy Goram, will be split between various local charities as well as a trust fund set up for Fernando’s three-year-old daughter.
The game was also a tribute to local Celtic fan Richard ‘Ricker’ McIntosh, who died from motor neurone disease last year at 51. Ricker’s daughter, mum and sister were at the game and presented a special trophy in his memory.